Hyderabad: Though the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department has extended up to August 15 for availing the 2 kilolitres free drinking water scheme, it has not issued any guidelines to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMW&SSB) on extending rebate on payments made by consumers in May and June.
Almost 5.6 lakh out of total 10.8 lakh consumers have registered for the scheme by seeding their Aadhaar card with their Consumer Account Number (CAN). The Water Board issued bills for five months between January and April to about 4.8 lakh consumers, who have not seeded the Aadhaar with their CAN. Water Board officials said that 41 per cent of the total 4.8 lakh consumers have cleared their water bills.
Since then, on July 6, the board suspended issue of water-cum-sewerage bills for domestic consumers up to August 15, so that those who have missed out could link their Aadhaar cards with CAN. Under the scheme, 2.5 lakh households with water meters and 2 lakh slum households will receive 20,000 litres of drinking water per month for free. Meters are not required for consumers if their locality falls under the slum category.
Consumers living in apartments have to link Aadhaar for individual flats against their property tax identification number (PTIN). Only flats linked against PTIN number and households with CAN number on or before August 15 will be eligible for the scheme. Consumers who register post-August 15 will be served with bill from December 2020 to August 2021. Interest will not be levied on such bills, which will have to be paid in September.
The Water Board has not clarified how the scheme will be made applicable to consumers who have not availed of it within the first cut-off date (April 30), paid their bill months in May and June, but who could link their Aadhaar cards with CAN or PTIN by August 15. HMW&SSB has just said the Aadhaar seeding date has been extended till August 15, making no mention of rebate.
A senior board official, requesting anonymity, said the Water Boad has not prepared a rebate mechanism. Asked about two lakh consumers who have cleared bills for May and June and over a lakh consumers who have evaded paying these bills, the official maintained that the government will have to take a decision in this regard. As of now, consumers who have not cleared their bills for two months are on the profit side, he stated.
Aadhaar registration can be done at Mee-Seva centres or by visiting water board website www.hyderabad water.gov.in. Consumers can dial HMWSS&B's customer care number 155313 for any clarification....